Alesci’s embraces family traditions. If it’s not already apparent by the third generation of brothers who co-manage the deli and grocer, it shimmers to the surface in the stories of old regulars and those who remember Grandpa Frank Alesci. Starting with Frank, and now for more than 50 years, the Alesci family has curated a collection of imported products, providing immigrants with the sought-after goods from across the pond. Beyond that, it’s a place for fresh, crusty bread, pizza, a myriad of cheeses, and deli meats sliced by hand. Inside the 7,000-square-foot location, shelves are lined with everything from polenta to biscotti, olives to olive oil, and peppers who share space with their natural enemy: the tomato.
With more than 60 years of combined rug-cutting experience, La Danse Cleveland's co-owners, Esther Rehm-Cohen and Tim Brown, have helped untold numbers of students twirl, hop, and belly slide across the dance floor. Certified as a ballroom instructor in 1981, Esther has won national awards for her teaching skills and has had the distinct honor of training couples who have gone on to rank in competitions. She garnered the position of head coach of the Case Western Reserve University ballroom team before fate's two-step led her to a partnership with Tim to run La Danse Cleveland's ample 6,000-square-foot studio. Boasting a background that includes competition in professional arenas as well as work as a dancing judge and a choreographer, co-owner Tim delights in crafting group classes and private lessons that excite and challenge students.
Included on the studio's roster of lessons are styles from Viennese waltz to nightclub two-step, along with sessions tailored specifically to children and to adult fitness goals. In classes and dance parties open to the public, students and social dancers alike rendezvous with Esther, Tim, and their impressive stable of instructors, whose resumés include stints with such world-class companies as the Boston Ballet and Gene Kelly's gutter-cleaning company.
Cleveland Ballroom Company's owner and principal instructor Nichy Vegas imparts graceful dance techniques to singles and couples in a variety of ballroom styles. Lessons range from beginner to advanced, allowing tyro twirlers and experienced foot-movers alike to learn new techniques and enjoy the fun of ballroom dance. Classes such as beginning and intermediate rhythm teach the importance of well-timed movements, a critical element of any basic two-step, foxtrot, or bullet-dodging routine. Alternate styles include tango, cha-cha, salsa, and the classic waltz—call ahead for information on future scheduling.
Photoriffic Memories dispatches professional hosts to parties throughout the area to help revelers capture the energy of their celebrations on black-and-white and color prints. Their open-style photo booths can occupy up to 20 people, who follow simple on-screen instructions before posing, using optional props, and expressively describing their favorite cheeses. The photo strips can be customized with a phrase befitting the celebration, and optional green screens allow hosts to add a theme to the printed shots. The company publishes all of the night's photos on its website, creating an online photo album from which guests can view or order prints.
At American Bouncers, sock-footed tykes flex their quads and imaginations as they navigate an indoor inflatable adventure land. Puffed-up castles, slides, and Berkshire mansions boomerang with lads and lasses during regular open-bounce sessions, birthday parties, and special events. Junior bounce sessions offer parents an opportunity to leap alongside their tots in the buoyant abodes, and the arena’s concession stand replenishes bouncers with kid-friendly nibbles. The company also leases a selection of bounce houses, concession machines, and party supplies for special events or moon-landing reenactments.